Melissa Ong

Filmmaker

Melissa Ong (Barbara Mearns)Mel helps to tell A Rocha stories from the field and has been our filmmaker since 2005.  (Find her videos on our Creation Care video resources page).

Before joining A Rocha, Mel spent more than a decade in the Singapore television industry writing and directing documentary TV shows on nature and the arts, as well as edutainment series for kids. Although those frenetic days are over, she’s kept a couple of shiny, international awards from the New York Festivals as souvenirs.

From 2006 to 2008, Mel and her husband Daniel lived and worked at the A Rocha Canada Field Study Centre in British Columbia and continue to have strong roots there.

Now based in Singapore, Mel’s other role is raising awareness of creation care locally and assisting Samuel Chiu, our East Asia Project Coordinator, in supporting the creation care movement in the region.

Read Mel’s story in a magazine interview.

Why A Rocha?

Finding out that a community such as A Rocha existed was like coming home for me. It was the combination of being biblically based and not just talking about creation care, but taking action that mattered to me. I immediately wanted to make films showing the practical projects.

What do you enjoy most?

I love interviewing people, although most people hate being in front of the camera!  It’s such a privilege to have someone’s permission to ask questions and be there to truly listen. Something beautiful happens on camera if we have a heart to heart connection and they feel a freedom to speak from their spirit.  When this magic happens as I interview our beneficiaries and they share how community conservation has touched their lives and made a difference, oh that’s the cherry on top!

Has A Rocha influenced the way you live?

A Rocha helps me understand what it means to be truly human and makes me a better Christian for it. My lifestyle is simpler, slower, more attentive to creation and filled with more gratitude. Before A Rocha, food was merely a product, but now I enjoy a closer connection with creation through eating, cooking and knowing the story of where my food comes from. Opening up our home to share hospitality and have friends over for meals is something my husband and I have learnt from A Rocha and our core value of Community.

I couldn’t do my job without…

Opening up my heart.

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